How big does a Glyph of Warding need to be?

The description of the Glyph of Warding spell says:

When you cast this spell, you inscribe a glyph that later unleashes a magical effect. You inscribe it either on a surface (such as a table or a section of floor or wall) or within an object that can be closed (such as a book, a scroll, or a treasure chest) to conceal the glyph. The glyph can cover an area no larger than 10 feet in diameter. [...]

It has a max size of 10 feet, but what about a minimum? If I had a single piece of standard paper, is there any guidance on how many glyphs I could fit on it?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Nothing in the rules says the glyphs cannot overlap. What is the final goal? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 18:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor You might run into the "spells with same name" problem. Maybe. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 11, 2021 at 18:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov in this case, one object should be able to be inscribed with one glyph, regardless of the size. I assumed the final goal is inscribing a specific number of glyphs on something relatively small, but I can be wrong. Let the OP answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 18:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, I've always read "the glyph can cover an area no larger than 10 feet in diameter" as the restriction for AoE size of the trigger, not the physical size of the inscription itself. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 18:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ to quote my dm, "so you want to make the ultimate note of f**k you" for plot reasons it cannot be more than a page \$\endgroup\$
    – EMTGO
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 23:25

1 Answer 1


Ask your DM.

There is simply no guidance in the spell description to point us to how small the glyph may be, so you will have to ask your DM.

An example from the Tortle Package shows it can be pretty small.

In the Tortle Package adventure, we see an object described:

Atop the pedestal, facing the double door to the east, is a ten-inch-tall wooden statuette of a woman holding a trident, with a shark’s tail instead of legs.

Further, we see:

A character who studies the statuette and succeeds on a DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check spots the nearly invisible glyph, which is inscribed on the trident.

This glyph is inscribed on an smaller object held by a 10-inch tall object. In my mind's eye, it seems this object bearing the glyph would be quite small, not more than a few inches long, and very thin, like a dowel rod:

enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ If a DM were looking for advice on how much of a limit they should impose, what would you suggest? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 12, 2021 at 12:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RevanantBacon I'd say almost none. Or we follow the written wording about "inscribing" the rune, which would mean any size where the character can write/draw the glyph. But with a bit of practice that's already pretty tiny \$\endgroup\$
    – Hobbamok
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 9:26

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